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Logo Critique and Advice please?

Hi all.
I'm new here, so I'm not sure if I should post here or in another topic/section thing.
So the East Asia Regional Council of Schools (EARCOS) is having a competition of sorts to find a new logo. They're offering a monetary reward for the first, second, and third prizes, so I thought I'd submit a little something in the hopes that I can get some cash to put towards college. I was wondering if all you great designers could offer some critiques and advice? I'm not a professional graphic design artist (it's more of a hobby than anything really) and I haven't taken any formal graphic design classes or anything of that nature, so I have to admit my design is rather crude. In any case.
Essentially the design brief was this;
- The logo must contain the letters EARCOS
- All submitted work must be original and not based on any pre-existing design
- Imagery themes may be used in the logo only if the image is free of a royalty fee
- The logo may not include any material (photograph, icon, and symbol) that is copyright protected by any entity
- If digitally created, the logo must be A4 size @ 300 ppi (pixels per inch)
So I went to the website and got there mission statement which is as follows: "EARCOS inspires adult and student learning through its leadership and service and fosters intercultural understanding, global citizenship and exceptional educational practices within our learning community."
I also looked at their original logo, which is attached below.

So with that information in mind, I created the following logo (I've attached three versions; the color version, a black on white version, and white on black version).

I wanted to make the logo simple, professional, yet still reminiscent of fun a child has at school. I also wanted the logo to represent multiculturalism, and I also wanted it to symbolize the class room. I immediately thought thought of a map or a globe, which is sort of a class room cliché, but the fact is they can be found in most any class room. So I sketched the simple globe that can be seen above. I also wanted the logo to represent the location of EARCOS, so I made the globe show the Asian region where EARCOS is active. In order to make the logo more vibrant, 'fun', and reminiscent of children at school, I made the color of the logo a bright orange. Not only is it a fun and bright color, it also happens to be the color of school buses in a number of countries. So yeah. I'm just worried that it's too simplistic and possibly too ambiguos.
Any critiques, advice, suggestions, what have you, is greatly appreciated. :)
Thanks so much in advance everyone :)

Tony Hardy

Hi there,

I wouldn't worry about being "too simplistic". I don't believe in that at all. I think the more simple the better.
What you have is much much better than their original logo. Have you sent it off yet to see what they think about it?
What I'd advise with the logo is to look at the kerning of the text as some of the characters appear to be touching, others don't. I'd sort that out straight away. Not sure which way I'd take it, probably give it a bit more space and room to breathe?

The orange looks very similar to Nickelodeon's orange. Have you checked whether the colour orange signifies anything in East Asia? Sometimes colours can semiotically (posh word for 9am on a Wednesday) communicate something undesirable, so that's worth checking out.
Before I get on to critiquing the logo I would like to bring your attention to the dangers of crowdsourcing and logo competitions. There are a whole host of articles out there explaining the morality issues and pitfalls of them. Tony (above) wrote one about it not long ago so why not pop over to his site and have a read.
OK, so the logo.
First thing's first, it's an improvement, so well done. The simplicicty of the globe is great and instantly recognisable as one, the connection to a classroom and teaching is also pretty understandable so another plus mark there.
For me the type isn't working. To start with you need to look at your kerning, there are numerous issues with it at the moment, secondly I think the font isn't really suited. I look at the type in the logo and instantly think 'tech company'.
My only other concern is with the level of detail in the globe, and the perspective seems a little 'off' (it actually took me a few seconds to realize it was Asia). If I were you I'd look at simplifying it and maybe use a more conventional view of Asia showing more of the West, you can shift that Eastern tip of Russia over out of site (as it is I think Alaska should be visible on there too, which annoys me slightly).
Overall it's a good start but there is plenty to work on.
Thanks for the input on crowd sourcing. I will most definitely take a look at it.
So I changed the coloring slightly to a lighter orange. I did a little research on the colors orange and yellow in Asia, and it seems that for the most part they symbolize creativity, happiness, honor, spirituality, regality and royalty. In Western culture security, warmth, and fun. So I think that the color is safe.
I also changed the font to a skinnier font which I find a little bit more authoritative, though it does kind of remind me more of an NGO as opposed to a school council.
I also simplified the map and changed the perspective slightly.

Thanks so much for all your input ya'll :)
I personally think it is on it's way of becoming much better than it was but for me I feel the type face you now have isn't what you want to use for the message you are trying to depict.
That type face does not give off the feeling of playful fun within a class room. So consider changing that Type face.